The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1475: Perennial Pasture and Forage with John Arbuckle


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    My guest for this episode is John Arbuckle, a Missouri farmer who is transitioning from grain based pork production to perennial pasture and forage.

    John and I discuss talk about his life as a farmer and how he is transitioning away from a grain based diet for his hogs towards developing perennial forages. Familiar with permaculture, he uses tiered priorities to describe his zone model of production, which influences how he interacts with the land. To establish this kind of system John also takes a long view of this work, looking out twenty years in order to reasonably move from the current model to something perennial and permanent.

    You can find out more about John and his products at:
    Singing Prairie Farm (Facebook)

    Before we get to my commentary, I do want to add that John said to me, after we recorded the interview and were wrapping up, he is trying to get President Obama to pardon one of his turkeys this year for the presidential turkey pardon. If anyone out there has a connection and can help make that happen, I’d really appreciate it.

    The first lesson comes from John’s experimentation to see what works and then bolstering his findings with evidence. He saw a problem, found a solution, and is now expanding on it further. This adds to what we know and can use when talking about why permaculture, perennial polycultures, and agroforestry matter. More of this work needs done. Are you currently practicing citizen science and experimenting on matters of permaculture from alternative energy to animal husbandry to landscape techniques?

    The other is that we should, as Bill Mollison implores us, take responsibility for our lives and that of our descendants. John reminds us that time is marching on whether we act on our dreams or not. Whether we plant a tree today, tomorrow, or never, time and the world continue with us or without us. I practice permaculture to create the world where I want to live. That world is an abundant one for all life. What world do you want to live in? What are you doing each day to make that world a reality?

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